When I finally saw Milwaukee Rep’s highly anticipated Titanic The Musical this spring, I was awestruck. The show was massive, with 45 characters, a live chamber ensemble and seriously ingenious set design that made the stage feel like a ship. Tack on the talented cast and a lively crowd, and it was enough for me to think theater was finally back in all of its glory. While I have come to appreciate the creativity that went into small-scale pandemic performances from our scrappy arts organizations, it felt good to see something this substantial, this ambitious.
Then, just a couple of days later, the Rep canceled the remaining two weeks of Titanic’s nearly sold-out run due to a cast COVID outbreak. But like Milwaukee’s many cultural organizations that have rolled with the punches these last couple of years, the Rep is resilient. Titanic will, thankfully, set sail once again – just as big and bold as the first time –Sept. 20-Oct. 23 along with the theater group’s packed fall lineup, which features the high-energy Beehive: The ’60s Musical (Nov. 11-Jan. 15, 2023) and fan-favorite A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater (Nov. 29-Dec. 24).
In our annual love fest for the city we call home, readers and editors alike give mad props to the people, places and things that rev us up right now. From restaurants to remodelers, we’ve curated more than 100 reasons for you to get out and explore Milwaukee.
Local arts orgs like the Rep are especially ambitious right now, swinging for the fences to bring back audiences, and it’s making for a promising fall season. Let’s talk about some highlights: Skylight Theatre is taking audiences to Greece with Mamma Mia! (Sept. 23-Oct. 16), Florentine Opera is bringing a grand retelling of William Shakespeare’s Roméo et Juliette (Oct. 14-16) and First Stage is tackling a holiday classic with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Nov. 25-Dec. 24). Plus, Laurie Kilmartin is headlining the Milwaukee Comedy Festival (Oct. 2-9).
There will be plenty to keep you busy this season. So peruse these pages with your calendar at hand, secure your tickets and get out to support the arts.